MOVIE CHEAT SHEET: Will Smith as Genie in Aladdin 2.0?
Will Smith as Genie is polarizing movie fans waiting for the live-action remake of Aladdin. DISNEY
BRIAN GASPAREK/ 24 HOURS
THE BIG STORY:
Ever since news broke this week that Will Smith is in talks to play Genie in Guy Ritchie's upcoming live-action Aladdin, the reaction online amongst movie fans has been polarizing. There is the pro-Smith crowd that feels that Will's cocky charm and quick wit would lend itself perfectly to the role of Aladdin's big blue buddy. Then there are the Smith-haters who feel like washed-up Willy and his eye-roll inducing, dad humour could never hold a candle to Robin Williams'beloved voice performance from the 1992 classic. As a bona fide Smith-hater, I actually wouldn't mind him scoring the part. Don't get me wrong. I don't like Will Smith's work. I think his acting is overrated and his humour is dated. Not to mention that his previous voice work in Shark Tale was excruciating. But for some reason, Smith voicing Genie feels like a natural fit. His tone, bravado and charm encapsulate what Genie should be. And he'd be able to confidently deliver a decent modern vocal performance of Friend Like Me, I can already hear it. As shocked as I am to admit it, I'm with the pro-Smith crowd on this one. But don't worry haters. There's still a chance that Big Willy will fade from this project as quickly as he did from Tim Burton's Dumbo.
Relax Marvel snobs
All right you uptight Marvel snobs, take it easy. Josh Brolin is playing two different mega villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year (Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Cable in Deadpool 2) and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. At least according to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. In response to the recent fanboy disdain surrounding Brolin's double villainous casting in the MCU, Feige said, "We don't have anything written into our contracts about other roles that people can do. Indiana Jones and Han Solo are the same person ... it hasn't been a problem. And I think Thanos and Cable are two very different characters." Listen, I totally get the nerdy dismay regarding this untraditional Marvel casting. But I couldn't care less. Josh Brolin is the man. I say the more Brolin, the better.
If you assumed that Marvel is completely pissed at former Avengers helmer Joss Whedon for jumping over to DC to write, produce and direct the upcoming Batgirl flick, you were off the mark. Kevin Feige also mentioned this week that he and his Marvel bigwig buddies couldn't be happier for Whedon working with their competition. According to Feige, "[Whedon] called. A couple months ago, which he didn't have to do and was super cool of him and super nice of him ... And we couldn't be more supportive. We want to see a Joss Whedon Batgirl film be awesome."
As much as Feige's sentiment is complete BS, it's nice of him to put on a classy front.
Undah da sea?
Over the years, Arnold Schwarzenegger has proven that he can do many things. But one thing that I never imagined Ah-nold doing is narrating a feature doc. I figured with that distinct, everimpersonated Terminator voice, his narration would naturally distract from the doc's content. Nonetheless, Arnie has signed on to narrate Wonders of the Sea 3D, an ocean conservation doc co-directed by Jacques Cousteau's kid. I have no idea how this won't come across as an SNL skit. But I am definitely going to check it out.
The Godfather reunion
Terrific news. We will all be able to witness The Godfather reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival's closing night panel. Tribeca announced that it will be broadcasting a Facebook Live feed of the epic hangout that will include Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro, beginning at 8:10 p.m. ET on Apri 29th on the festival's Facebook page. Despite the good news, I'm still willing to be literally anyone's plus one who can get me into the event. I'll grab the first round too!
BEST AND WORST IN THEATRES:
Worth a shot: Free Fire
Critics are saying that Ben Wheatley's 90-minute, single-set, retro action-comedy is a ridiculous, gun-slinging thrill ride. It boasts decent oneliners, a killer cast and some serious bravado. If Tarantino knock-offs are your thing, get your butt to the theatre this weekend.
Gratuitously adorable: Born In China
Who cares if critics are saying the story telling is a little weak in this John Krasinski narrated Disney doc. It features an up-close look at adorable pandas, snow leopards and golden monkeys. Oh, and the film is visually stunning. It is definitely worth checking out. Sigh. That baby panda is just so damn cute.
Must Zee: The Lost City of Z
Believe the hype. Critics are saying James Gray's adaptation of David Grann's bestseller is a masterpiece. Charlie Hunnam is stellar as British explorer Percy Fawcett. This real life story is incredible. Now that this film has found a wide release, it is a must-see.